Speaking UP

Rick LuttmanLuttmann's Last Lecture Offers “Reflections”

A traveler, art collector, math educator and more, mathematics professor Rick Luttmann will share his "last lecture" entitled “Reflections” on April 15 in the Cooperage at 6:30 p.m.

Luttmann will delve into what got him interested in mathematics, why he is an educator, and how he developed his teaching style.

He will also weave together stories of his worldwide travels, his life among the Eskimos, his volunteer service at San Quentin, and "many more intrepid tales that his students and colleagues may not known about. Mathematics is only the beginning."

The event is part of the Last Lecture Series sponsored by the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) and troffered by Residential Life.


English Professor Unmasks "The Real Medieval Game of Thrones"

Brantley BryantMedieval literature expert Dr. Brantley Bryant feels lucky these days, because ever since the appearance of the hit television HBO medieval fantasy drama "Game of Thrones," more and more people are getting interested in things like royal succession, jousting, and the best way to besiege a castle.

The SSU English professor will be offering a special presentation called "The Real Medieval Game of Thrones" at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 6 at the Petaluma Regional Library, 100 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma.

Called "the Sopranos in Middle Earth" by HBO television producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, "Game of Thrones" is an adaptation of "A Song of Ice and Fire," George R. R. Martin's best-selling series of fantasy novels, the first of which is titled "A Game of Thrones."

It might just seem to be a very violent soap opera wearing a medieval outfit, but Bryant argues that the facts and fictions of the real medieval world run through it. Not just the story's setting, but its characters, morals, and plot all have their roots in the poetry and politics of distant centuries, he says.

Bryant's lecture addresses some of the "real" medieval bits of "Game of Thrones." "Connections with real medieval literature show us ways that the Middle Ages can still speak to our society perhaps more urgently than ever," Bryant says. "The world of clashing cultures and invading dynasties is the epic stuff in fantasy literature but it is also English medieval history remixed."

Bryant, an assistant professor of English literature at Sonoma State, has a long-term interest in discovering the ways that medieval literature is surprisingly present and important for our contemporary world. His expertise is in the literature of the European Middle Ages, particularly Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340-1400) and late medieval British literature. He joined the SSU faculty in the fall of 2007 after completing his Ph. D. in English at Columbia University in New York.


“Never Again! How Can We Make it So?”
Dean Leeder Speaks At Yom HaShoah Service

Elaine Leeder, Dean of the School of Social Sciences, is the special guest speaker at Congregation Shomrei Torah’s annual Yom HaShoah Holocaust Memorial Service on April 7 at 10:30 a.m.

The theme of Leeder’s speech is “Never Again! How Can We Make it So?” The Holocaust and Genocide Lecture Series is part of Dean Leeder’s School of Social Sciences. She holds a PhD and two Masters Degrees, including one from Yeshiva University in New York.

A highlight of the Yom HaShoah observance is the Candle Lighting ceremony which includes six survivors or children of survivors to honor the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. Candle lighters will also represent the Roma/Gypsy, gays and lesbians, disabled, political prisoners, and righteous gentiles murdered in the genocide.

A hallmark of the annual event is the recognition and candle lighting for other genocides including Native America, Armenia, Cambodia, Rwanda and Darfur.

The Yom Hashoah service is a project of the Social Action Committee. Shomrei Torah is located at 2600 Bennett Valley Rd. in Santa Rosa.